Through the expanded global initiative, both events, produced in partnership with industry trade association Licensing International, will provide select illustrators, designers, animators and product inventors the opportunity to pitch their concepts online in front of a panel of expert judges and to an audience of manufacturers, retailers and brand owners for the chance to win a one-on-one consultation with members of the judging panel and the regional competition sponsor, a free-of-charge booth at an upcoming Global Licensing Group trade show plus a one-year membership to Licensing International and one-year membership to Products of Change Group.
“Discovery and creativity are pillars of the Brand Licensing Europe and LicensingExpo trade shows, both of which are foundational to the License This! program,” says Anna Knight, vice president, licensing, Informa Markets. “Our aim with the competition is to drive new artists, illustrators and product inventors into the industry on a global scale by providing once-in-a-lifetime access to mark their place in the licensing industry and look forward to this year’s roster of creatives.”
Entries for the free-of-charge competition are open for the Brand Licensing Europe and Licensing Expo communities.
The competition within each region will comprise the following three categories:
- License This! Character & Animation;
- License This! Brand & Design; and
- License This! Inventions & Product Innovations.
The Character & Animation and Brand & Design categories are both aimed at unlicensed brands and properties looking to use the platform to secure a licensing deal or agency representation. Judges are looking for new creative concepts that have the potential to spread across multiple product categories. Typically, applicants are illustrator, publishing or animation focused.
The Inventions & Product Innovation category, supported by partner InventHelp in the U.S. and Mojo Nation in Europe, is about tangible product inventions that are patented or patent-pending or innovative product designs that would benefit from licensing, either through in-bound (i.e. putting a character on it to enhance it) or out-bound to a manufacturer (i.e. wearable item that is licensed by a mass manufacturer from the inventor). Judging is based on the invention’s product design uniqueness, brand-ability of the product and presentation and pitch of the submission video. All three categories take sustainability into consideration during the judging process.
The Licensing Expo Virtual edition will be chaired by Warren Schorr, vice president, business development and global licensing, Crayola.
“Licensing is an immensely powerful tool that companies use to extend their brand reach into consumers’ lives,” says Schorr. “Licensed products can often inject innovation, creativity and personality into product lines across categories. It’s my honor to serve as the chair of the judging panel and help selected License This! participants navigate the exciting world of brand licensing and new product development.”
The Licensing Expo Virtual edition is sponsored by licensing software solution Westend Software and is partnering with InventHelp for the Inventions & Product Innovation category, harnessing their extensive expertise in the invention process.
“InventHelp is pleased to announce our continued partnership with Licensing Expo who has provided the inventor community with a unique opportunity to introduce their inventions to decision makers of such vast brands and industries,” InventHelp said in a statement. “The original Pitch The Brands program has been well-received since its introduction to the U.S. market back in 2018 and we are so excited to merge this competition with License This! to evolve and elevate the program.”
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